Category: Opinions

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WiFi is bad at CES, video-uploads coming later

Posted by Charbax – January 6, 2010

I am not able to get enough bandwidth or any connection at all on the WiFi hotspots at the CES press events at the Venetian hotel (is CES not really interested in having bloggers blog about their tradeshow?), the Venetian press room has no working wifi and 6 ethernet cables to share among 2000 journalists. Also, the $10 daily WiFi access at my hotel room at Imperial Palace constantly drops off so I can for now not upload my first CES HD quality videos.

So for now I send you this blurry picture:

Today, I have seen some awesome looking ARM Powered laptops powered by Marvell and Qualcomm and the Lenovo one looks really great.

I will upload my videos daily as soon as I have access to the real Press Room at the convention center, perhaps starting tomorrow, where I am sure that they will provide hundreds of megabits per second upload speeds.

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I have arrived in Las Vegas

Posted by Charbax – January 5, 2010

And here is what you can find in all Radio Shack stores in the USA, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet (8GB) selling right there for a very affordable $249 price. If Archos markets this device the right way and provides a perfect Android firmware for it with full Google Marketplace integration, and soon announce 3G and 7" versions and solutions for Camera and Compass, I think Archos has a huge opportunity right there to make a very big influence on the market.

You can follow my extensive HD quality video coverage from CES here on http://armdevices.net during the next few days.

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CES video coverage on ARMdevices.net

Posted by Charbax – January 2, 2010
Consumer Electronics Show
Image via Wikipedia

I will be in Las Vegas to film up to 50 HD quality videos from January 4th to 11th of the best ARM Powered® devices to be shown at the tradeshow. I will try to film behind-the-scenes Interviews with Engineers, Product Managers and other experts in the ARM Powered® Tablets, Mobile Phones and Laptops that are going to be shown at CES and launched hopefully soon thereafter at attractive prices.

The big question for me will be to notice the actual performance level reached by those latest ARM Cortex A8 or ARM Cortex A9 processors to be embedded in those devices. The certain crucial performance levels that we need to see working smoothly and fine are following:

- The web browser needs to browse on websites fast and with multiple amounts of opened tabs.

- The web browser needs to load advanced Javascripts and AJAX based websites just as fast as on an Intel-based Laptop.

- Flash 10.1 support needs to be just about as smooth and good on ARM Powered® devices as on Intel-based ones.

- I'd really like to see the first demos of fast and smooth Google Chromium OS demos running on ARM Powered® Laptops and Tablets. The full Google Chrome browser optimized to use hardware acceleration of the ARM Powered® Laptops and Tablets is crucial for the success of the platform. That is, it would be surely great to see Firefox and Opera browsers also working fast and smooth for all those advanced things.

- Some level of advanced 3D hardware acceleration for 3D game platforms such as the Unreal Engine, Quake3 demos, even N64 emulators demonstrated to work on all the latest ARM Cortex based technologies would be really great and would add a certain level of confidence in ARM Powered® devices from the bunch of 3D gamer geeks that do represent a large part of the blogosphere.

- In general, it would be extremely great to see working implementations of full hardware acceleration in Android and Chrome OS, as well as in Ubuntu 9.10 and any other Linux ARM based OS that can really be used well to optimize the use of hardware acceleration.

Then in terms of business models, ARM Powered® devices should have more opportunity to be sold to consumers at attractive prices. Subsidizing the devices with telecom contracts running up to more than $2000 over the 2-years is one way to do it. What I would really like to see are official announcements that the ARM Powered® Laptops and Tablets are not only very powerful in terms of Javascripts/Flash/3D performance, but also that they can be sold significantly cheaper to the end consumer than devices based on Intel.

The $200 ARM Powered® Laptop and the promise of $100 ones for consumers to buy totally unlocked and without contracts, that is where the biggest opportunity lies with ARM Powered® devices in my opinion. By bring the PC/Laptop industry to a lower cost level, could also mean that 1 Billion or more people around the world will be able to afford to have full access to the web. And if all those devices can add the Pixel Qi low power sunlight readable screen and even function in Tablet mode, run 20-40 hours on a low cost and light battery, then all the greatest. It would be really nice to see actual product announcements at CES in just a few days.

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OLPC XO-3 to make ARM Powered Tablets happen at $75

Posted by Charbax – December 22, 2009

OLPC designer Yves Behar is showing the XO-3 design over at http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/22/tablet-computer-negroponte-technology-cio-network-olpc.html

One Laptop Per Child XO-3 design

Imagine an ARM Powered Tablet computer with the 10.1" Pixel Qi screen, where the screen uses plastics instead of glass to be very resistive. Imagine low enough battery usage in transflective mode to power the device for 40 hours even though the less than 1cm in thickness of the Tablet does not allow for much space for the batteries. Imagine a fully optimized use of the Pixel Qi screens reflective abilities where the screen only needs to refresh at the speed of 1hz when in e-reader mode when nothing moves on the screen, with the processor and motherboard also completely shut off and standby to save power when they are not required. But where screen refresh rate and the processor and motherboard can instantly be turned on as soon as they are needed again.

Imagine wireless data technologies based on White Spaces, for free unlimited wireless broadband on the 700mhz spectrum, WiFi Mesh networking and maybe even low power Bluetooth built-in.

OLPC XO-3 tablet concept design

Imagine a touch screen technology which would allow for very responsive touchscreen interfaces to accommodate reading, web browsing, typing and playing of games. Yet where the touch screen functions on a plastic screen that is scratch resistant.

One Laptop Per Child OLPC XO3 games

All that for $75 and to be released within two years. Those are the latest plans from the OLPC organization, the same people that invented the Netbook industry as I wrote in http://www.olpcnews.com/commentary/impact/olpc_netbook_impact_on_laptop.html

olpc xo-3

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Cherrypal may have been watching my videos, launches products I reviewed last month

Posted by Charbax – December 17, 2009

Menq EasyPC E790

http://www.cherrypal.com/products.php just did a big splash on the blogosphere (engadget, gizmodo etc) about them launching the Menq EasyPC E790 rebranded Cherrypal Africa to the US market for just $99. I filmed this model made by Menq here last month: http://armdevices.net/2009/11/12/80-android-laptop-menq-easypc-e790/

I would be really proud and happy if distributors and brands such as Cherrypal are approaching the manufacturers of the best products that I film, this would really be a nice success criteria for my video-blogging work. It is my goal to highlight interesting new products when I find them at consumer electronics trade shows and when I get review samples and to try and get those videos to do the rounds of the big blogs when the content of my videos are original and interesting enough.

It is really great to see the Menq EasyPC E790 for sale in the US market branded Cherrypal Africa so soon after my video. If this helps speeding up the availability of an Android firmware onto the laptop, then that would be even better!

Funny as well, at the same time, Cherrypal is launching the Optima OP5-W rebranded Cherrypal Bing for just $389 as well which I filmed a couple of weeks ago as well at http://techvideoblog.com/reviews/optima-op5-w-350-121-laptop-for-ubuntu-or-windows-xp/ ! This seems to me that it is likely that Cherrypal is a fan of my video productions. Leading them to take concrete actions in contacting the manufacturers of the products that I highlight and negociate immediate orders of large quantities of those products.

I look forward to my videos influencing more distributors in the coming weeks. Look forward to my extensive video coverage of all the best ARM powered devices from January 7th to 10th at the CES Consumer Electronics Show!

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The blogosphere reports my Nexus One pricing speculation as rumor

Posted by Charbax – December 16, 2009

Several blogs have been reporting my speculation on Nexus One pricing as a rumor. Which is okay, but I am only freely thinking what to expect Google will do about the pricing. What I think Google should do. I don't have secret infos from Google insiders, at least not yet. Although I am sure Google insiders are monitoring what the blogosphere is talking about so if they see a lot of people getting excited about disruptive pricing and VOIP features, then it could well encourage them to actually really make the big announcements and make it happen at the launch.

My speculation is based on following:

1. Manufacture and Bill of Material of a 3.7" AMOLED touch screen smartphone has been calculated by isupply and others to cost below $150 all inclusive when mass manufactured. Although an AMOLED WVGA screen is probably a bit more expensive than a 3.5" 480x320 LCD screen. Manufacturers and resellers make very high profit margins when they sell unlocked smartphones at $400-500, and I think, those prices are only a deterrent to unlocked phones and to push consumers into signing $2500 2-year contracts for getting those phones.

2. My speculation is that when Google will be selling its own phone (even manufactured by HTC or other Smartphone manufacturers in Asia), my speculation is that Google does not need to profit on the hardware, but plans to profit over time on mobile ads and services.

3. Google does not own spectrum, yet my basic suggestion is that Google may be able to approach telecom carriers internationally and offer to buy Petabytes of bandwidth on 3G networks, at a given rate per GB, and my speculation is that 3G bandwidth data should definitely cost less than $10 or 5€ per GB. If Google is able to purchase 1 Petabyte of 3G data from a telecom carrier for $10 per GB, guaranteed best effort bandwidth not throttled for VOIP, then what would stop Google from offering 100MB free bandwidth per month to users of unlocked Android phones, to use for basically as much VOIP over 3G using Google Voice, Gmail, basic Gmaps and basic Web browsing as most users would need. Thus get an unlocked Android phone with a Google SIM card and get unlimited free VOIP and 100mb/month data for free on ad-supported Google services or purchase more data for a certain price for example $10 per GB to use whenever you want, not needed to be renewed each month. I am probably far over-estimating the cost of 3G data bandwidth, the price per GB is probably below 1€ per GB, unless telecom carriers just refuse the deal and that they wouldn't accept to sell any 3G cellular bandwidth to Google.

I have been campaigning for free VOIP on WiFi and 3G for years, since I have been very active fanboy of all Archos Internet Tablets since the Archos PMA400 released in 2004 on my other site http://archosfans.com, where my hope has always been to some day have better telecom system that doesn't try to sell you a $2500 2-year contract with a $150 smartphone. But instead move towards improving the smart device, implement better optimized software through Linux (Android enables that for the first time), larger higher resolution screens (4.8" 800x480 like Archos 5 Internet Tablet is my favorite size and resolution), and also some day, make it possible for people to just buy the bandwidth that they need and not charge unreasonable prices anymore for voice and sms services.

Here are some of the sites that have been posting my speculation over the past couple of days:

http://www.androidguys.com/2009/12/14/reuters-nexus-one-available-directly-through-google-website-january-5/

http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2009/12/15/google-nexus-one-phone-price-details-cdma-version-may-follow/

http://news.softpedia.com/news/More-HTC-Nexus-One-Details-Availability-Pricing-Boot-Animation-129741.shtml

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/62660/google-phone-rumor-roundup-fcc-approval-pricing-and-availability/

http://www.product-reviews.net/2009/12/15/google-nexus-one-pricing-details/

http://androidandme.com/2009/12/news/android-rumor-report-nexus-one-to-cost-199/

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=1517

http://www.i4u.com/article29235.html

http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2009/12/google_nexus_one_to_cost_199.html

http://www.slashgear.com/peek-ceo-gets-google-nexus-one-hands-on-price-speculation-increases-1666131/

http://www.geardiary.com/2009/12/16/nexus-one-google-phone-pricing-rumors-round-up/

http://www.mobilemag.com/2009/12/15/google-to-sell-nexus-one-unlocked-for-199/

http://pixelatedgeek.com/2009/12/more-google-phone-rumors-grain-of-salt/

http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/aexhb/google_phone_199_without_contract99_for_google/ (1088+ comments!)

http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2009/12/15/google-nexus-one-phone-price-details-cdma-version-may-follow/

http://www.hackchasers.com/news/nexus-one-le-5-janvier-2010-date-de-lancement/

http://richard.gluga.com/2009/12/googles-nexus-one-with-free-data.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/14/AR2009121403454.html

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More of my speculation on Google Phone Nexus One hardware and services pricing

Posted by Charbax – December 14, 2009

EDIT: Google has not confirmed any pricing for the Google Phone Nexus One. You can read my latest post backing up my speculations on what I expect Google will price it, what I think Google should price it: http://armdevices.net/2009/12/16/the-blogosphere-reports-my-nexus-one-pricing-speculation-as-fact/

As I have been posting in comments on mediamemo.allthingsd.com, gizmodo.com and androidguys.com, I enjoy speculating about features and prices of phones and business models. So let me post here the prices that I expect this first Google Phone to be sold at and some of what I expect of its hardware specifications:

- $200 sold through all retailers, Best Buy, Amazon, Wal Mart and any others. Unlocked, for use on any network, but I think it may come with a so-called Google SIM card (read further below)

- Google may provide a subsidy up to $100 for long-time and very active Google users. So if you buy it online using your Google Account, they may provide you with an instant rebate. If you buy it for $200 in retail stores, Google can still provide you the online $100 rebate to use on the Google Android Marketplace, on Google Checkout stores or even on extra data for your Google SIM card (read futher below).

- My speculation is that Google may provide up to 100mb of free data usage per month to all Android users with a Google SIM card (read futher below). The 100mb per month would be enough for as much Google Voice, Gmail, Gtalk, and basic web browsing that most people need (disabling bandwidth intensive things such as images can easily be setup). No contracts needed for those 100mb per month, but those may only work for use on Google services, for low bandwidth Android apps or for basic web browsing. In any ways, there would be a bandwidth usage counter clearly displayed at the top of the Android user interface next to the battery meter. The free 100mb per month may be throttled and may sometimes be limited to GPRS type of speeds.

- Extra bandwidth could be purchased in one click, such as I expect 1GB for $10 or 5€ is possible. That extra GB of bandwidth would be usable at any point in time and not need to be renewed every month.

- A monthly $30 or 20€ bandwidth package would provide up to 5GB in the USA or 10GB in Europe per month of unrestricted and full speed 3G bandwidth usage.

- Thus the overall Bill Of Material and Manufacturing costs for a Google Nexus One is probably below $150, so Google can very likely sell it below $200 with 8GB built-in storage and with MicroSD for storage expansion. Google doesn't look for making profits on hardware, they will make their profits on ads over the several months or several years that the hardware is being used.

The Google SIM card speculation:

- All those bandwidth speculations would work using the Google SIM card on any unlocked Android phone. Though since the Nexus One would be unlocked, any other SIM card could be used as well. And thus, competitors or telecom carriers themselves can provide SIM cards with pre-paid, with or without subscriptions for other packages of data usage. I think Google would allow Microsoft and others to take part in financing those free 100mb per month so users would be able to use competing online services and VOIP providers for free as well.

The calculation and speculation for a worldwide Google SIM card bandwidth service should thus be based on trying to not only guess if carriers will allow Google to turn them into dumb pipes of bandwidth, on the other hand, we should try to guess what price Google may pay to buy 3G data bandwidth in bulk from the carriers and thus at what price Google may sell it back to Android users without the need of monthly data subscriptions. My guess is that $10 per GB in the USA and 5€ per GB in Europe should be more than enough payment for the 3G data bandwidth. And that most likely Google should be able to purchase that for much lower prices if Google negociates deals for several Petabytes of 3G data bandwidth with the carriers. Thus giving away 100MB of bandwidth per unlocked Android user per month, would most likely cost a lot less than $1 per month to Google, thus that would be something Google should be able to give to unlocked Android users for free. But even if carriers would charge Google as much as $10 per GB for 3G data bandwidth, I believe that my speculation on the Google SIM card could still make a lot of sense.

Because Google would negociate for 3G data bandwidth with all carriers in every country. I believe that it should be possible for users to seamlessly and freely roam for data usage in other countries. That is, as long as they do use a Google SIM card for unlocked Android phones.

Google Phone Nexus One
Source for picture: http://www.engadget.com/

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The Google Phone, guessing on the price and a possible picture

Posted by Charbax – December 13, 2009

This may be a picture of the Google Phone:

Google Phone Nexus One

From rumors on Techcrunch, this may be a pre-paid only $100 device, for WiFi and pre-paid 3G Voice over IP usage such as on Google Voice. Exactly the revolutionary business model that I have been talking about for a while. My guess on the Google Phone price, or what I think it should cost is following:

$100 for the 3.7" high density WVGA Google Phone Nexus One
$150 for the 4.8" medium density Google Tablet Nexus XL

All should come based on ARM Cortex A8 processors, probably OLED capacitative on Nexus One and LCD resistive on the Nexus XL. My suggestion is basically that the Nexus XL may be similar to my favorite consumer electronics device the Archos 5 Internet Tablet which I talk about in countless videos: http://armdevices.net/?s=archos and on my other site: http://archosfans.com

The most important factor here would be if the rumors are true and if my guessing is right, that the Google Phone and Tablet will be the first pre-paid Android phone and tablet. Affordable, my guessing also may even make it so that Google may not only sell it through all retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Wal Mart, Media Markt, Aldi and such, but that one may even be able to buy it on google's own website and based on how active one has been on Google over the past few years, Google may even subsidize the purchase price of the phone or tablet. That is, cause Google can know it will more likely make more money on mobile ads from users who use Google services a lot. This way, look forward to Google Phone at $50, Google Tablet for $100 and even the Google Laptop/Tablet/E-reader at $150.

Some times, I think that it does take a big giant technology company like Google to really invest not only in the platform, not only in software, but also dedicate teams of hardware engineers into actually releasing own branded hardware on the market and push the boundaries in terms of business models to apply to the distribution of such technology. To push things forward faster, Google needs to make hardware.

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Chrome OS is better

Posted by Charbax – November 19, 2009

Chrome OS Laptops will cost 50 dollars and run 20 hours on a battery, and come with free unlimited 3G internet data connectivity.

Chrome OS is not going to be companion to Windows/Mac, Chrome OS is destroying Microsoft/Apple and even Intel.

You will be able to run powerful and free image and video editing software using Native code and hardware accelerations functions of Chrome OS and HTML5.

Chrome OS works offline just as well as any other laptop. Want to write emails while offline and auto-send them when you find a web connection? That is possible. Want to write documents offline and sync them when you find a WiFi? That is possible. Want to watch video while offline? Just connect USB storage and that is possible. I am sure Chrome OS laptops will even come with extra storage and hard drive compartments built-in if you really want to carry a lot of stored data to do a lot of things offline. Otherwise, by that time, there will be Google Drive to store a TB of your personal files for less than 50 dollars per year, thus only slightly more expensive than buying a TB hard drive. And if you will want to store divx or mp3 files on your Google Drive that other users have stored on Google Drive already, you won’t have to actually upload it, a quick scan and a copy is on your Google Drive and storage costs will be shared by all the users who will have access to a copy of the file.

Chrome OS works on touch screens, uses whatever hardware you want. Most importantly, with a 50 dollar ARM laptop the experience will be just as good as on a 400 dollar Intel laptop.

ARM laptops will win

Posted by Charbax – August 14, 2009

1. They are much cheaper. Cheapest unlocked 3G-enabled ARM based laptops will be sold at $100 without any carrier contracts needed.

2. ARM Laptops have no screen size limits. Get a 15″ ARM powered laptop for $200 soon.

3. ARM Laptops run 15-20 hours on a small 3-cell battery at the minimum.

4. ARM Laptops are lighter, they don’t get hot like Intel based laptops.

5. Chrome OS (= Android 2.0) runs on ARM Laptops better than on Intel.

6. ARM Laptops can come with 500GB hard drives for just a $80 extra fee to pay for the hard drive. They can even all come with an empty 2.5″ sata hard drive slot to add any hard drive available on the market to add storage to it.

7. ARM Laptops have instant on ability, applications run faster and all load instantly.

8. Full HTML5 enabled browser runs on ARM Laptops with an unlimited amount of tabs with as little as only 256mb RAM required thus lowering the price.